Chargers sign receiver Williams to a new contract
March 10, 2022
As expected, the Los Angeles Chargers have reached a contractual agreement with wide receiver Mike Williams, one of their key unrestricted free agents in NFL free agency. Williams is coming off his best season, with career highs in receptions with 76 and in receiving yardage with 1,146. Williams was a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, the seventh pick overall in the 2017 NFL draft.
The contract that the two sides agreed to is a three-year, $60 million dollar deal, with $40 million guaranteed. Williams will receive a signing bonus of $21 million, which for salary cap purposes is spread out over three years. Williams will make a base salary this season of $7 million and with the bonus hit of $7 million this season, will have a salary cap number of $14 million in 2022.
With NFL contracts, the important money is the guaranteed money. Williams will earn $40 million in guarantees and all the guaranteed money will be paid out in the first two years of the contract. Williams will earn a guaranteed contract of $12 million in 2023 and he will have a salary cap hit of $19 million in 2023.
The contract agreement came together within hours of the deadline for the Chargers to use their franchise tag on Williams. For Williams, the franchise tag would have cost the Chargers $18.4 million for just one season. The new contract with Williams means he will be a Charger for the next three years, which pleased the 6-foot-4 Williams.
"It came down to yesterday," said Williams. "I got some news a couple of days ago, some numbers. We came back with some negotiations to get some more of that (laughter). Then, we came to an agreement. Everything worked out on both ends. Since I've come here, I feel like they trust me, so I kind of expected it. Everything was kind of up in the air, but when I got the news, I was excited."
In five seasons with the Chargers, Williams has caught 227 passes, with 27 of those receptions going for touchdowns. The opportunity to play three more seasons with Pro Bowl quarterback Justin Herbert was also important to Williams. "That was big," Williams said. "That was a big part of it, too. Just to be with a quarterback who is a franchise quarterback, a guy who is able to do the things that he is able to do and get me the ball. That was huge."
For General Manager Tom Telesco, who likes to draft, develop, and re-sign his best players, the contract extension with Williams had to be very satisfying. The Chargers are set at starting wide receiver with Williams and Keenan Allen, who are among the best pair of starting wide receivers in the NFL. Yet Telesco may still want to look at the wide receiver position in the upcoming NFL draft.
The NFL is a passing league, and you can never have enough weapons on the outside. Allen will be thirty years of age at the start of the season and Williams will turn 28 during the season. Wide receiver Chris Olave, who played his college football at Ohio State, but is from San Marcos, California and played his high school football at Mission Hills high school in San Marcos, would be an interesting pick in the first round.
The Chargers have needs on defense, but Olave is a smooth route runner with 4.39 speed in the forty. At age 21, he would give the Chargers speed on the outside and a young player to develop with Herbert, who is just 24 years of age. Olave could be that additional weapon that gives the Chargers their best trio of receivers since the 1980 Chargers trio of John Jefferson, Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner. That trio was fun to watch and a nightmare for secondaries. Exactly what Herbert and the Chargers could use.